Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ron Paul on Isolationism

I had no intention of devoting so much time -- or any at all -- to Ron Paul but this guy says things and does things which almost demand comment.

Last month, The Washington Post reported, in an article entitled A History Lesson, that Ron Paul had responded to criticism of him by John McCain. McCain had compared Paul's opposition to the Iraqi war to the 1930s appeasement movement in the US. [I don't agree with McCain's comments. But, as you will see, that is beside the point.]

The appeasement movement, as many readers clearly know, was vigorously opposed to any action against Nazi Germany. While it may have had many well-meaning members in its ranks, it also had many people who were sympathetic to Nazis Germany and who, while they may not have approved of all its policies, were clearly enthralled by much of what it was doing [and vehemently opposed to FDR's policies]. Think Charles Lindbergh and Ambassador Joseph Kennedy.

In response to McCain's criticism Paul said the senator was"confused historically." He went on to tell the Washington Post:
"People in the 1930s who didn't want war didn't cause World War II. I think Hitler caused the war, not the Americans who argued for a pro-American foreign policy...."
To say the isolationists were arguing for a pro-American foreign policy is to also say that those who wanted vigorous action against Nazi Germany wanted an anti-American policy.

Paul may not be an historian and may not be a man of nuance but when you begin to put all these things together, you get a disturbing picture of a man who had won the hearts and opened the pockets of a surprisingly large number of Americans.

[The Washington Post article was also posted on the official Ron Paul for President site which is where Adam Holland, who alerted me to this, apparently first saw it.


Hume's Ghost said...

He also has some odd views about the Civil War, which he believes shouldn't have been fought, that it wasn't about slavery, and that the North could have purchased the freedom of the South's slaves.

In addition, he's got an ability to warp history through his ideology, as when he said there weren't serious economic problems before Social Security and the welfare state (or something like that ... I'd have to refind the link) managing to ignore the Great Depression.

"But I must admit to being shocked -- and I don't shock easily -- at the way in which a strange conglomerate of White supremacists, neo-Nazis, 9/11 conspiracists, etc. have embraced him."

That's the first thing about Paul that got my attention. I noticed the milita sorts that I talk to on the net were all buzzing about Paul, which is when I remembered that Dave Neiwert had mentioned him several years ago as a "transmitter" of extremist ideas.

If you're wondering why the supremacists like him so much, this quote I found at Stormfront best sums their feelings:

Anyone who doesn't vote for Paul on this site is an assclown. Sure he doesn't come right out and say he is a WN [white nationalist], who cares! He promotes agendas and ideas that allow Nationalism to flourish. If we "get there" without having to raise hell, who cares; aslong as we finally get what we want. I don't understand why some people do not support this man, Hitler is dead, and we shall probably never see another man like him.

Pat Buchanan's book "Where the Right Went Wrong" is a prime example of getting the point across without having the book banned for anti semitism. The chapters about the war in Iraq sound like a BarMitzvah, but he doesn't have to put the Star of David next to each name for us to know what he means. We are running out of options at this point, and I will take someone is 90% with us versus any of the other choices.

Not to mention if Paul makes a serious run, he legitimizes White Nationalism and Stormfront, for God's sake David Duke is behind this guy!

That and a 1992 issue of his political letter which was posted to the website of a HOlocaust denier white supremacist then archived by Nizkor. It was full of racialist propaganda (e.g. "I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males in [D.C.] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.

If similar in-depth studies were conducted in other major cities, who doubts that similar results would be produced?") and the Houston Chronicle found some more racism in another Paul letter.

I've speculated that the supremacists like Paul besides the reasons in the above quote because some of them have read the rest of the Paul letters that we have not (which have not been released by the campaign). Bolstering that belief is the fact that the neo-Nazi Heritage Front listed Paul's newsletter in a list of racialist groups

Paul has had Christian Reconstructionist Gary NOrth on his staff and continues to associate with him, so there's that too.

Another reason, and a main reason, that those conspiracy groups like Paul so much is because he believes the same conspiracy they do. New world order conspiracy.

If you search "Ron Paul new world order" at YouTube a video of Paul citing GHW Bush's "new world order" remark during the Gulf War as evidence of the NWO conspiracy will come up. That's the same remark that motivated Pat Robertson to write an anti-semitic conspiracy book and the Turner Diareis fan Timothy McVeight to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Hume's Ghost said...

Here's the YouTube clip.

And here's a pic of Paul shaking hands with the founder of the S.C. Constitution Party and a leader of the Patriot movement at a banquet they threw in Paul's honor in '04.

And I forgot to mention in the other comment ... it really is odd how so many kooks love him so much. I'd never heard of David Icke - a man who believes alien reptiles are trying to create a one world gov't - until I came across his website googling Ron Paul. He had posted a conspiracy interview Paul did on his website. I'd never met a follower of Icke until I came across one in a forum thread about Paul.

hockey hound said...

The scary thing is that all these wing-nuts are Christians, one of them with dreams of being elected as President of the United States. Every critique of Ron Paul one reads never mentions the fact that he's a Christian.

In my opinion, the primary causal agent behind shameless provocateurs like Pat Buchannan, Ron Paul, and Pat Robinson is Christian theology and not the secondary, ideated nationalistic platforms they arrogate to their presidential hopefuls. Their narcissistic patriotism is eerily similar to that which permeated Nazi Germany, an ugly reality Daniel Jonah Goldhagen attempts to profile in his book Hitler's Willing Executioners.

The fact that Pat Buchannan is an anti-Jewish bigot and yet regarded and given free rein by the mainstream American media as a legitimate political pundit greatly distresses me. Moreover, the frightening reality that Pat Robinson, Ron Paul, and Pat Buchannan worship the same god discomposes me even more.

"So Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the entire kingdom of Ahasuerus-the people of Mordechai." -Ester 3:6

"If the camel once gets it nose in a tent, its body will soon follow." -Arabian proverb

Hume's Ghost said...

"Every critique of Ron Paul one reads never mentions the fact that he's a Christian."

Not every critique. This one followed by this one mention it, and so does this one and this one.

Ed Brayton recently pointed out that Paul doesn't acknowledge evolution, either, at his Dispatches from the Culture Wars blog.

hockey hound said...

I watched Glenn Beck's interview of Ron Paul last night. Ron Paul denied having any connection to neo-Nazi and 9/11 conspiracy groups. I personally think he's a liar. Ron Paul's denials remind me of the Yiddish proverb,"If everybody says so, it must be true."

Jessica's thoughts said...

As a Christian and Republican, I can assure that Ron Paul does not stand a chance of getting the Republican nomination. He is too, too far out there for mainstream Republicans. I will not vote for him.

I write this, as I am tired of seeing all Christians and Republicans portrayed as extremists. Most Republicans are much, much more moderate. Only a few are truely extremist.

Deborah Lipstadt said...

"I write this, as I am tired of seeing all Christians and Republicans portrayed as extremists."

I certainly have no intention of doing that and I agree with you that most Republicans are much more moderate.

I think that the way in which the primary/caucus system is structured it plays to the far fringes of [both] parties.

hockey hound said...

"So Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the entire kingdom of Ahasuerus-the people of Mordechai." -Ester 3:6

jessica's thoughts, you might have noticed in the verse above that it did not take many Jew haters to browbeat "the people of Mordechai" down to the threshold of genocide: it only took one man, namely Haman, whose name (if I remember correctly) translated from Hebrew means "vizier". Think Paul of Tarsus. Think Ambrose. Think Augustine. Think Martin Luther. Think Joseph Goebbels.

There is an oft overlooked wisdom in the Jewish proverb, "A little folly outweighs wisdom and honour." Which is to say, one anti-Jewish bigot with access to the ruling elite and the reins of power in any nation can rapidly transform a tolerant people into a mechanism for genocide. This reality is also a lesson of the Holocaust.

M. Ram said...

I just noticed that one of the labels for this post is "Pon Paul for President". You don't want to see what Little Green Footballs commenters have come up for this crank.

Deborah Lipstadt said...

Thanks for pointing this out. It's corrected.

BTW, I just watched him on the Republican debate in New Hampshire. I can see why some people are attracted to what he has to say. He makes it all sound so simple... yet it's not.

Rebecca said...

Yes, I just watched the Republican debate last night - and after listening to all of the other candidates try to sound more pro-war than George W. Bush, it was a relief to have Paul question why we are in Iraq. I can see his appeal to some Republican libertarians - as long as they don't look any further than his anti-war statements.

hockey hound said...

"...as long as they don't look any further than his anti-war statements."

What do you mean by this statement? What "further than his anti-war statements" should we be concerned about? I'm simply being curious. Honest. I have absolutely no idea what "Republican libertarians" would actually look for from a politician like Ron Paul.

Rebecca said...

What further we should be concerned about? What we've been discussing thus far - his links to far right and racist/Nazi supporters.